Monday, June 18, 2012

Sacha Vida - Sacha Inchi Seeds and Oil

Sacha Vida is a DC-based company that hopes to make sacha inchi seeds more readily available to the public. Carol Campos, Owner, grew up in Peru, listening to the wondrous stories about the rainforest. By borrowing sacha inchi seeds from the Amazon, she hopes to not only help others by allowing them to benefit from the seeds' nutritional properties, but also to preserve the Amazon and its inhabitants. Their goal is to help develop the local economy so that local farmers don't have to engage in deforestation activities or illegal crop agriculture that ultimately destroys the beautiful rainforest as we know it. I love a company with a conscience.

Sacha Inchi seeds were largely unheard of in the U.S. until recently. Now, they are being touted as yet another superfood that we need to keep an eye on. The seeds come from the sacha inchi fruit, a star-shaped fruit that is considered one of the strongest nutritional plants in the rainforest.  Sacha inchi seeds contain the highest concentration of unsaturated fatty acids Omega 3, 6, and 9. They are an exceptional source of highly digestible plant-based complete protein and contain high levels of essential amino acids, which are known to help regulate appetite, improve sleep, and elevate mood. They have a high amount of dietary fiber and are a great source of calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and iodine.

Sacha Vida sells three different kinds of sacha inchi seeds. The chocolate covered ones are a great snack while the naturally roasted and roasted & salted are great for salads and dishes. They have a very unusual, nutty taste that takes some getting used to. I liken it to the first time I tried spirulina and chlorella. It was unusual at first, but the more I ate it, the more I liked it -- same goes for these seeds. They are unlike anything you have ever tried before, but that is what makes them unique. I'm always looking for new flavors to spice up my meals!

So, take these delicious, nutty-tasting seeds and add them to your dishes for a great nutritional boost. I love knowing that they are rich in Omega 3s (7000 mg per one ounce serving) as they now give me an alternative to flax seeds. Sacha Vida also produces oil that is cold-pressed in the Amazon and shipped to Napa Valley where it is bottled.

I used the oil to make a salad dressing that I used to dress a salad made of kale, collard greens, yellow pepper, and red onion. Here is the recipe:

Sacha Inchi Herb Dressing
  • 4 T Sacha Inchi oil
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch paprika
Place all ingredients in a salad dressing container and stir. That's it!

The nutty oil and tangy lemon really went well with the collard greens and kale.

You may have also seen the Shaved Zucchini and Sacha Inchi Salad I posted a few weeks ago.  That salad was amazingly good!

It is likely you will hear more and more about these seeds this year. Whole Foods has begun selling the Sacha Vida oil so you'll see it start cropping up on your natural grocer's shelves. If you can't find it locally, you can buy it online here. Let me know what you think!

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